Summertime brings lots of fun activities, one of which is reading! The warm weather and later daylight hours give us the opportunity to sit and read on the beach, by a lake, in your local park, at a resort, your own backyard, and many more places.
Below are some new releases that I personally am looking forward to reading this Summer. After the main list of new releases, I’ve included a “Read Before You Watch” of some older titles getting a TV/Film adaptation (such as Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman coming to Netflix!), as well as some classic literature, like Dracula, which celebrates its 125 anniversary this year. Each listing has accompanying links to the print, ebook, and audiobook editions; the publisher’s synopsis; and my quick thoughts.
Continue on to check out my Summer 2022 Book Recommendations….
This Is Not the Real World This is Not the Jess Show: Book 2 Hardcover | Kindle Edition
By Anna Carey
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release Date: May 24, 2022
This is the follow-up to 2021’s This Is Not the Jess Show (now out in paperback). I don’t normally pick favorites, but I’m gonna this time: This Is Not the Jess Show (Books 1 & 2) is my TOP PICK for Summer Reads 2022. Both books are quick, enjoyable reads that are perfect for Summertime, especially now with 1990’s nostalgia happening in full force. These also make great Book Club selections for the season.
Nineties nostalgia takes a dark turn in this thrilling sequel to This Is Not the Jess Show, perfect for readers of We Were Liars and One of Us Is Lying.
Months after Jess escaped from the set of Stuck in the ’90s, the nostalgic reality show she believed was her real life, the teen star is getting to know the outside world for the first time. But she can’t outrun her fictional life forever—or the media empire that owns it.
After Like-Life Productions tracks her down and forces her boyfriend to return to the show, Jess teams up with an underground network fighting to uncover Like-Life’s schemes. To expose the truth, Jess must go back to the set and take Like-Life down from the inside . . . but getting revenge might just cost her everything.
Book Dimensions : 5.76 x 0.99 x 8.77 inches; 283 pages
As I mentioned in my review, in Whisper Down The Lane the author “expertly taps into the hysteria of the famed “Satanic Panic,” creating a chilling, psychological thriller that keeps the reader guessing and worrying, wondering what’s real.” The paperback edition was released in April and contains a transcript of Lord of the Rings actor Elijah Wood’s Q&A with the author during the book release party.
A pulse-pounding, true-crime-based horror novel inspired by the McMartin preschool trial and Satanic Panic of the ’80s.
Richard doesn’t have a past. For him, there is only the present: a new marriage, a first chance at fatherhood, and a quiet life as an art teacher in Virginia. Then the body of a ritualistically murdered rabbit appears on his school’s playground, along with a birthday card for him. But Richard hasn’t celebrated his birthday since he was known as Sean….
304 pages; Book Dimensions: ?7.95 x 1.02 x 5.28 inches
Alternate dimension, Kaiju, COVID-19 escapism — yes, please!!! You can’t go wrong with John Scalzi and Kaijus.
The Kaiju Preservation Society is John Scalzi’s first standalone adventure since the conclusion of his New York Times bestselling Interdependency trilogy.
When COVID-19 sweeps through New York City, Jamie Gray is stuck as a dead-end driver for food delivery apps. That is, until Jamie makes a delivery to an old acquaintance, Tom, who works at what he calls “an animal rights organization.” Tom’s team needs a last-minute grunt to handle things on their next field visit. Jamie, eager to do anything, immediately signs on.
What Tom doesn’t tell Jamie is that the animals his team cares for are not here on Earth. Not our Earth, at least. In an alternate dimension, massive dinosaur-like creatures named Kaiju roam a warm, human-free world. They’re the universe’s largest and most dangerous panda and they’re in trouble.
It’s not just the Kaiju Preservation Society who have found their way to the alternate world. Others have, too. And their carelessness could cause millions back on our Earth to die.
272 pages; Book Dimensions : 5.38 x 0.71 x 8.25 inches
Did you love the 2021 epic scifi remake Dune, which won 6 Academy Awards? (I DID!!!) Well, Part 1 of Dune, that is. Part 2 is coming next year, so in the meantime, keep yourself immersed in Frank Herbert’s world with this new collection of Dune novellas by Herbert’s son Brian Herbert and his longtime collaborator Kevin J. Anderson.
Collected for the first time, these Dune novellas by bestselling authors Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson shine a light upon the darker corners of the Dune universe. Spanning space and time, Sands of Dune is essential reading for any fan of the series.
The world of Dune has shaped an entire generation of science fiction. From the sand blasted world of Arrakis, to the splendor of the imperial homeworld of Kaitain, readers have lived in a universe of treachery and wonder.
Now, these stories expand on the Dune universe, telling of the lost years of Gurney Halleck as he works with smugglers on Arrakis in a deadly gambit for revenge; inside the ranks of the Sardaukar as the child of a betrayed nobleman becomes one of the Emperor’s most ruthless fighters; a young firebrand Fremen woman, a guerrilla fighter against the ruthless Harkonnens, who will one day become Shadout Mapes.
176 pages; Book Dimensions: 6.75 x 0.85 x 18.25 inches
Stranger Things: Hawkins Horrors A Collection of Terrifying Tales Hardcover | Kindle Edition | Audiobook
By Matthew J. Gilbert
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: May 3, 2022
One of the best parts of this Summer is the return of Stranger Things on Netflix! The second part of this fourth season is coming July 1, so check out this new tale from Hawkins to keep the Stranger Things fun continuing.
A collection of terrifying tales from the thrilling world of Netflix’s hit series Stranger Things!
Prepare to visit the darkest and most chilling corners of Hawkins. Dustin, Lucas, Max, and their friends want to rent videos one night. But when a blackout changes their plans, they swap seven twisted tales based on their hometown. What secrets lurk in an old asylum? Does a mutant creature live at the bottom of Lovers’ Lake? Is a harmless teddy bear actually controlled by a supernatural force? These are just a few of the monstrous mysteries in this creepy collection that is sure to thrill fans of Stranger Things ages 8 to 12.
Welcome to the thrilling world of Netflix’s hit series Stranger Things. Follow Eleven, Dustin, Max, Lucas, and their friends for mystery, suspense, and supernatural adventures in 1980s Hawkins.
208 pages; Book Dimensions: 6.06 x 0.76 x 8.5 inches
Stranger Things: The Official Coloring Book Paperback
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Release Date: June 28, 2022
Yes, I’m all hopped up on Stranger Things right now, so while we’re on the subject of the show, I have to highlight this official coloring book!!!! You can color in your favorite characters, as well as locations within Hawkins, the Upside Down, the newly introduced Creel House, and much more.
Color in your favorite characters and scenes from the hit Netflix show Stranger Things with this official, high-quality coloring book for all ages.
“Nobody normal ever accomplished anything meaningful in this world.”—Jonathan Byers
From Hawkins to the Upside Down, explore the strange and spooky world of Stranger Things with this first-ever, official Netflix coloring book. Color in the Creel House, Steve and Robin serving up ice cream at Scoops Ahoy, or the terrifying Demogorgon in full attack mode.
Featuring 76 original illustrations and thick paper, this coloring book is the perfect way to relive the greatest moments from this hugely popular show.
80 pages; Book Dimensions: ?9.81 x 0.36 x 9.8 inches
Take a trip back to the Clone Wars era when Obi-Wan and Anakin fought together instead of against each other as we’ve seen in the recent Disney+ streaming series Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker must stem the tide of the raging Clone Wars and forge a new bond as Jedi Knights in a high-stakes adventure set just after the events of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.
The Clone Wars have begun. Battle lines are being drawn throughout the galaxy. With every world that joins the Separatists, the peace guarded by the Jedi Order is slipping through their fingers….
352 pages; Book Dimensions : 6.46 x 1.12 x 9.52 inches
Star Wars: The Thrawn Trilogy Boxed Set Star Wars Legends: Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, The Last Command Paperback | Kindle Edition
By Timothy Zahn
Publisher: Random House Worlds
Release Date: May 31, 2022
Nothing can top Heir to the Empire when it comes to the Star Wars Expanded Universe, now known as Star Wars Legends. Now, the book and its two sequels from Timothy Zahn have been re-released in a 3-book box set.
Experience the #1 New York Times bestselling Star Wars Legends trilogy that introduced the menacing Grand Admiral Thrawn—now in a complete three-book set.
Following the events of Return of the Jedi: Star Wars: Episode VI, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia find themselves once again at the center of rebellion.
Five years after the Death Star was destroyed and Darth Vader and the Emperor were defeated, the galaxy is struggling to heal the wounds of war, Leia and Han are married and expecting twins, and Luke has become the first in a long-awaited line of new Jedi Knights.
But thousands of light-years away, the last of the Emperor’s warlords—the brilliant and deadly Grand Admiral Thrawn—has taken command of the shattered Imperial fleet, readied it for war, and pointed it at the fragile heart of the New Republic.
Meanwhile, Han and Lando Calrissian race against time to find proof of treason inside the highest Republic Council—only to discover instead a ghostly fleet of warships that could bring doom to their friends and victory to their enemies.
Yet most dangerous of all is a new Dark Jedi, risen from the ashes of a shrouded past, consumed by bitterness, and scheming to corrupt Luke to the dark side.
1,504 pages; Book Dimensions: 5.87 x 3.43 x 8.5 inches
Possums Are Not Cute! And Other Myths about Nature’s Most Misunderstood Critter Hardcover | Kindle Edition
By Ally Burguieres
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release Date: May 10, 2022
As I said in my review, “Possums Are Not Cute! is undoubtedly both the most fun and informative book I’ve read all year.” Seriously adorable. Great to read on its own, and even better if you have a youngster to entertain.
Possums may steal your garbage…but with this book, they’ll also steal your heart!
Possums are more than the ugly-cute icons of the internet. These so-called trash animals and pointy kitties are not only relatable avatars for anxious but resilient people everywhere, but nature’s secret clean-up crew.
Organized around common myths that have given possums a bad reputation, this fun and offbeat book reveals the truth about possums through dozens of adorable photos, informative illustrations, and fascinating facts. Did you know that…
• Possums protect people and pets from disease! A single possum can eat up to 4,000 ticks per week!
• Possums excel at interspecies friendships, often sleeping in other animals’ dens.
• Possums are shy creatures: when they “play dead,” they are actually fainting from anxiety!
Written by wildlife rehabber and possum advocate Ally Burguieres, known for her popular Instagram account @ItsMeSesame, this accessible and giftable guide explains why possums deserve our admiration and offers tips on how we can protect and advocate for these magical marsupials.
128 pages; Book Dimensions: 6.24 x 0.54 x 7.29 inches
Actor Wil Wheaton, of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame, revisits and expands upon his 2004 book Just a Geek in this open and honest memoir.
Celebrated actor, personality, and all-around nerd, Wil Wheaton updates his memoir of collected blog posts with all new material and annotations as he reexamines one of the most interesting lives in Hollywood and fandom–and now for the first time in audio, narrated by Wil himself!
From starring in Stand by Me to playing Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation to playing himself, in his second (third?) iconic role of Evil Wil Wheaton in The Big Bang Theory, to becoming a social media supernova, Wil Wheaton has charted a career course unlike anyone else, and has emerged as one of the most popular and well respected names in science fiction, fantasy and pop culture….
464 pages; Book Dimensions: 7.38 x 1.41 x 9.12 inches
Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses: A Novel Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle Edition | Audiobook
By Kristen O’Neal
Publisher: Quirk Books
Original Release Date: May 24, 2022
Paperback Release Date: May 10, 2022
“Chronic Illnesses,” it says it right there in the title. As someone who’s suffered from a serious chronic illness since childhood, this one definitely piques my interest. While “illness” on its own doesn’t exactly scream “FUN!,” pairing it with werewolves certainly does. This is a YA selection and skimming the preview on Amazon, I can tell this will be a quick one to enjoy this Summer.
Teen Wolf meets Emergency Contact in this sharply observed, hilarious, and heartwarming debut young adult novel about friendship, chronic illness, and . . . werewolves.
Priya worked hard to pursue her premed dreams at Stanford, but the fallout from undiagnosed Lyme disease sends her back to her childhood home in New Jersey during her sophomore year—and leaves her wondering if she’ll ever be able to return to the way things were.
Thankfully she has her online pen pal, Brigid, and the rest of the members of “oof ouch my bones,” a virtual support group that meets on Discord to crack jokes and vent about their own chronic illnesses.
384 pages; Book Dimensions: 5.23 x 0.98 x 7.98 inches
Yes, this is the 16th book in Kim Harrison’s Hollows series, so if you’ve been reading this urban fantasy series, you’ll want to continue with this one. If this is new to you, you can start back at the beginning with the highly entertaining Book 1 Dead Witch Walking (the Kindle ebook edition is on sale for only $3.99 now!).
Rachel Morgan must keep her friends close—and her enemies closer—in the next Hollows novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison.
Rachel Morgan, witch-born demon, has one unspoken rule: take chances, but pay for them yourself. With it, she has turned enemies into allies, found her place with her demon kin, and stepped up as the subrosa of Cincinnati—responsible for keeping the paranormal community at peace and in line.
Life is . . . good? Even better, her best friend, Ivy Tamwood, is returning home. Nothing’s simple, though, and Ivy’s not coming alone. The vampires’ ruling council insists she escort one of the long undead, hell-bent on proving that Rachel killed Cincy’s master vampire to take over the city. Which, of course, Rachel totally did not do. She only transformed her a little….
464 pages; Book Dimensions: 6.27 x 1.52 x 9.28 inches
The cover on this one is so cool it grabbed me right away; then I previewed the book on Amazon and there’s a very cute map of this fantastical version of New Orleans and now I really want to read this debut novel from Alex Jennings.
Music is magic in this vibrant and imaginative debut novel set in a fantastical version of New Orleans where a battle for the city’s soul brews between two young mages, a vengeful wraith, and one powerful song.
Nola is a city full of wonders. A place of sky trolleys and dead cabs, where haints dance the night away and Wise Women help keep the order. To those from Away, Nola might seem strange. To Perilous Graves, it’s simply home.
In a world of everyday miracles, Perry might not have a talent for magic, but he does know Nola’s rhythm as intimately as his own heartbeat. So when the city’s Great Magician starts appearing in odd places and essential songs are forgotten, Perry realizes trouble is afoot.
Nine songs of power have escaped from the piano that maintains the city’s beat, and without them, Nola will fail. Unwilling to watch his home be destroyed, Perry will sacrifice everything to save it. But a storm is brewing, and the Haint of All Haints is awake. Nola’s time might be coming to an end.
Put on your dancing shoes and enjoy this song for New Orleans, the city of music, magic, and dreams.
464 pages; Book Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.85 x 9.65 inches
Of the late John M. Ford, Neil Gaiman said he was “a great writer who is really f*ck*ng brilliant” and Robert Jordan said he was “the best writer in America, bar none.” With praise like that as well as a written introduction by Gaiman, Aspects is definitely a must-read for fans of fantasy.
Aspects is the great John M. Ford’s last novel, unpublished in his lifetime. It is a fantasy novel unlike any other, filled with politics and manners, swords and sorcerous machine guns, ancient empires and the onward march of progress. The master author’s lost work is finally here.
A forbidden romance.
Magic running rampant.
A monarchy coming to an end.
The world is changing, and with it a nation begins the process of dismantling the royal family and building a democracy in their place. A delicate and dangerous task, which sparks political intrigue in the halls of Parliament and power struggles that draw in the nobility, Archmages, and idealists alike . . . even before the Gods choose to meddle, in favour of old hierarchies.
Against this backdrop of political turmoil comes the powerful story of two lovers torn apart by the fragile new system . . . and a lost woman, overlooked in the power struggles, striving to find the help she needs to control her own powers.
482 pages; Book Dimensions: ? 4.96 x 1.5 x 7.72 inches
The Faceless Old Woman Who Secretly Lives in Your Home Welcome to Night Vale: Book 3 Paperback | Kindle Edition | Audiobook
By Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor
Audiobook narrated by Mara Wilson
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Release Date: March 22, 2022
Looking forward to returning to the crazy world of Night Vale for this new story told in flashbacks centering on the mysterious desert town’s Faceless Old Woman folktale.
From the New York Times bestselling authors of Welcome to Night Vale and It Devours! and the creators of the hit podcast, comes a haunting novel set in the world of Night Vale and beyond.
In the town of Night Vale, there’s a faceless old woman who secretly lives in everyone’s home, but no one knows how she got there or where she came from…until now. Told in a series of eerie flashbacks, the story of The Faceless Old Woman goes back centuries to reveal an initially blissful and then tragic childhood on a Mediterranean Estate in the early nineteenth century, her rise in the criminal underworld of Europe, a nautical adventure with a mysterious organization of smugglers, her plot for revenge on the ones who betrayed her, and ultimately her death and its aftermath, as her spirit travels the world for decades until settling in modern-day Night Vale.
Interspersed throughout is a present-day story in Night Vale, as The Faceless Old Woman guides, haunts, and sabotages a man named Craig. In the end, her current day dealings with Craig and her swashbuckling history in nineteenth century Europe will come together in the most unexpected and horrifying way.
Part The Haunting of Hill House, part The Count of Monte Cristo, The Faceless Old Woman Who Lives in Your Home is a lively tale of loyalty, betrayal, and revenge, that will have you looking around the corners of your own home…just in case.
384 pages; Book Dimensions: 6 x 0.86 x 9 inches
Dragons of Deceit Dragonlance Destinies: Volume 1 Hardcover | Kindle Edition | Audiobook
By Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
Publisher: Del Rey | Random House Worlds
Release Date: August 2, 2022
Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman kicked off the Dragonlance book series in 1984 with one of my favorite fantasy novels of all time, Dragons of Autumn Twilight, and went on to write many more stories set in this world. Now, the duo is returning to Dragonlance with a new adventure featuring a new heroine and I am here for it!
Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman return to the unforgettable world of the New York Times bestselling Dragonlance series as a new heroine—desperate to restore her beloved father to life—sets off on a quest to change time.
Destina Rosethorn—as her name implies—believes herself to be a favored child of destiny. But when her father dies in the War of the Lance, she watches her carefully constructed world come crashing down. She loses not only her beloved father but also the legacy he has left her: the family lands and castle. To save her father, she hatches a bold plan—to go back in time and prevent his death.
First, she has to secure the Device of Time Journeying, last known to be in the possession of the spirited kender Tasslehoff Burrfoot. But to change time, she’ll need another magical artifact—the most powerful and dangerous artifact ever created. Destina’s quest takes her from the dwarven kingdom of Thorbardin to the town of Solace and beyond, setting in motion a chain of disastrous events that threaten to divert the course of the River of Time, alter the past, and forever change the future.
400 pages; Book Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.38 x 9.55 inches
Venomous Lumpsucker is described as a witty, inventive, and absurd story about “environmental collapse and runaway capitalism,” so basically it’s our imminent future. In this one, two people are searching for the last surviving Venomous Lumpsucker and they end up finding more than they bargained for. The book title alone is enough for me to want to read it.
A dark and witty story of environmental collapse and runaway capitalism from the Booker-listed author of The Teleportation Accident.
The near future. Tens of thousands of species are going extinct every year. And a whole industry has sprung up around their extinctions, to help us preserve the remnants, or perhaps just assuage our guilt. For instance, the biobanks: secure archives of DNA samples, from which lost organisms might someday be resurrected . . . But then, one day, it’s all gone. A mysterious cyber-attack hits every biobank simultaneously, wiping out the last traces of the perished species. Now we’re never getting them back.
Karin Resaint and Mark Halyard are concerned with one species in particular: the venomous lumpsucker, a small, ugly bottom-feeder that happens to be the most intelligent fish on the planet. Resaint is an animal cognition scientist consumed with existential grief over what humans have done to nature. Halyard is an exec from the extinction industry, complicit in the mining operation that destroyed the lumpsucker’s last-known habitat.
Across the dystopian landscapes of the 2030s—a nature reserve full of toxic waste; a floating city on the ocean; the hinterlands of a totalitarian state—Resaint and Halyard hunt for a surviving lumpsucker. And the further they go, the deeper they’re drawn into the mystery of the attack on the biobanks. Who was really behind it? And why would anyone do such a thing?
Virtuosic and profound, witty and despairing, Venomous Lumpsucker is Ned Beauman at his very best.
336 pages; Dimensions: 5.74 x 1.07 x 8.54 inches
READ BEFORE YOU WATCH
Here are some books that were/are being adapted to film and television, so take the opportunity to read the source material before you watch.
Sandman Vol. 1: Preludes & Nocturnes 30th Anniversary Edition Paperback | Kindle Edition | Audiobook
By Neil Gaiman
Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman is one of the greatest comic books series of all time, so it’s a no-brainer to start reading it before the Netflix series is released August 5, 2022. You can get through Book 1 (link below) in no time and will want to continue onto the next volumes for sure! The audiobook is fantastic as well.
Firestarter Mass Market Paperback | Kindle Edition | Audiobook
By Stephen King
Seems like a lot of people skipped out on this latest adaptation of the Stephen King novel Firestarter, as it was a box office flop earlier this year. But the novel is a good one to read while you watch the film, which is streaming on Peacock.
Eye Of The World The Wheel of Time: Book 1 Paperback | Kindle Edition | Audiobook
By Robert Jordan; Audiobook new narration by Rosamund Pike
Amazon is off to a great start with their Wheel of Time series, which adapts the long-running novel series of the same name by Robert Jordan. Season 1 came out last year, but there are plans for more, so get on with the reading now because these books are LONG. The audiobook for the first installment has a new narration from the television show’s lead actress Rosamund Pike, who does a fantastic job. Highly recommend.
Bullet Train Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle Edition | Audiobook
By Kotaro Isaka
The novel by Kotaro Isaka is getting a U.S. big-screen adaptation on August 5, 2022, starring none other than Brad Pitt as a trained assassin trying to get out of the business.
The Andy Warhol Diaries Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle Edition
By Andy Warhol; Edited by Pat Hackett
Release date: May 24, 2022
From executive producer Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror Story) comes this documentary series on Netflix about late artist Andy Warhol, based his 1989 nonfiction book of the same name, re-released in paperback this year.
CLASSIC LIT SUGGESTIONS
Summer is a wonderful time to delve back into the Classics or perhaps discover one you may have missed.
Elric of Melniboné: Volume 1 Elric of Melnibone, The Fortress of the Pearl, The Sailor on the Seas of Fate, and The Weird of the White Wolf Hardcover | Kindle Edition | Audiobook
Written by Michael Moorcock; Introduction by Neil Gaiman
Narrated by Samuel Roukin
Publisher: Recorded Books
Release date: February 15, 2022
The Elric Saga is one of my favorite high fantasy series, and now there’s a new audiobook released this year that collects the four of the books! And, it includes an Introduction (“One Life, Furnished in Early Moorcock”) by Neil Gaiman. I used one of my Audible credits to get this one and plan on listening throughout the season. The re-release is also available in Hardcover and Kindle.
When Michael Moorcock began chronicling the adventures of the albino sorcerer Elric, last king of decadent Melniboné, and his sentient vampiric sword, Stormbringer, he set out to create a new kind of fantasy adventure, one that broke with tradition and reflected a more up-to-date sophistication of theme and style. The result was a bold and unique hero – weak in body, subtle in mind, dependent on drugs for the vitality to sustain himself – with great crimes behind him and a greater destiny ahead: a rock-and-roll antihero who would channel all the violent excesses of the ’60s into one enduring archetype.
Now, presented in the author’s preferred story order, the classic Elric saga.
Listening time: 24 hours and 12 minutes
Here’s a few quick picks to check out.
Star Wars Insider Presents: Star Wars: The Mandalorian Season 2 Collectors Edition Vol.1 Hardcover
By Titan Magazine
Publisher: Titan Comics
Release date: June 14, 2022